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Road Test: Overbilt 2003 Ford F-650 Extended Crew Cab

The ultimate toy hauler: Overbilt has created a monster

Allyson Harwood
Jul 21, 2005
Photographers: John McGann, Brian Vance, Thomas Voehringer
This is a bad-ass truck. If that description offends you, it's guaranteed the truck will, too. This creation started life as a 2003 Ford F-650, and, after a few months' work, was transformed into a one-of-a-kind hauler. It's easy to presume that a truck this big, with this much attitude, was designed simply to get attention. But this monster was built for a specific reason, and, as you might imagine, it gets looks wherever it goes.
The Bodman family, which owns Ridge Route Collectible Cars, originally purchased the Ford to tow a two-car enclosed trailer to carry father Pete Bodman's personal collection of rare and classic Buicks. His son Kevin liked driving it so much, he was inspired to make a few improvements. Kevin's goal: Add a bed and extend the cab, and make it look like it came from the Ford factory that way. He did such an impressive job that people frequently ask him and his brother Jeff, "When did Ford start building that model?" As a result of the positive feedback, the brothers have started a business, called Overbilt Trucks.
Photo 2/9   |   Under the hood is a 300-horsepower Caterpillar inline-six turbodiesel. What gets the truck moving, though, is the engine's 800 pound-feet of torque. According to Ford, there's a version of the C7 ACERT engine that puts out 860 pound-feet.
Ford F-650s are basically built to order. With that kind of flexibility, the Bodmans had no difficulty getting what they wanted. Lurking behind the pit-bull nose is a 7.2-liter turbodiesel Caterpillar C7 ACERT inline-six, putting out 300 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. Backing that much power is one of the few transmissions that can handle it--an Allison MD-3066 six-speed automatic with double overdrive. This Ford uses an I-beam-type front suspension, with 8500-pound-rated parabolic tapered leaf springs, and a live-axle rearend, with a custom self-leveling air ride suspension. This setup has a dump valve, which lowers the rear end eight inches, making it easier to load the truck bed. A flip of a switch ignites a compressor that brings the rear back up. Stopping the truck in its tracks are hydraulic brakes with ABS. Ogawa Enterprises built the dual custom gas tanks and Mr. Bob's supplied the exhaust system.
The F-650 came to Overbilt as a two-wheel-drive crew cab and chassis; by the time Kevin was done, it was a six-door, eight-passenger truck. (An extended crew cab, perhaps?) Sam Johnson was one of the guys at Overbilt who helped with much of the project. Overbilt got the extended cab and bed, both Super Duty items, from Bert Boeckmann at Galpin Ford. For increased vision when parking, a rear-mounted camera was installed. Also added was a Magnadyne M11 security system, which includes remote start and a two-way paging system. Finishing off the cab is an electric rear-sliding window.
Photo 3/9   |   The rear suspension was built by Rite-Way Axle & Suspension in Sun Valley, California, known for suspension work on semis. This system was made for severe duty. Each airbag is capable of handling 100,000 pounds.
Despite the vehicle's immense size and intimidating appearance, it's easy to live with. The 16-inch drop-down power steps, custom-built by KCB Precision in Valencia, California, make sure drivers of any stature can get into the truck without difficulty; once inside, it's as if you're in a customized Super Duty. The gauge layout, shifter, and general feel of the cab are all the same, but on a larger scale. The truck also enjoys custom touches like green-light accents and a PlayStation 2. And all those extra seats.
The truck's ride is unapologetic, as it should be. It's not supposed to feel like a cushy sedan when you're on the road; this is a big, bad medium-duty monster. It rides like a truck, meaning it's designed to be driven while towing or hauling; put heavy gear in the bed, and the ride improves. And, despite its size, it's easy to keep the truck in one lane, as long as you pay attention, as it's not much wider than a typical dualie.
Want a truck like this for your driveway? Overbilt currently offers a five-passenger crew cab version as well as the extended crew cab. If you order a truck from them, you can have it made to your specifications--within reason. Pricing will reflect the options you choose. We can guarantee that if you order one of these trucks, you'll be able to haul just about anything with a hitch, and you'll get a thumbs-up wherever you go. And you don't even need a special license to drive it.
Photo 4/9   |   Overbilt sells this truck in two body styles: a four-door crew cab and a six-door model. The four-door seats five comfortably; with the addition of the custom extended cab, the truck will easily hold eight people.
Photo 5/9   |   The Ford has a leather and suede interior, and, with the help of ACE Custom Sounds, received an Eclipse CD/DVD system, complete with custom-built speaker pods and center console. The stereo, in addition to being an AM/FM/CD system, uses DVD navigation. For backseat passengers, there's a Sony PlayStation 2 as well.
Photo 6/9   |   2005 Ford F 650 Overbilt Extended Crew center Console View
Photo 7/9   |   2005 Ford F 650 Overbilt Extended Crew front Side View
Photo 8/9   |   2005 Ford F 650 Overbilt Extended Crew front Side View
Photo 9/9   |   2005 Ford F 650 Overbilt Extended Crew top Side View
Overbilt F-650 Extended Crew Cab
Location of final assembly Lebec, California
Body style Six-door truck
EPA size class Class 6 medium duty
Drivetrain layout Front engine, RWD
Airbags None
Engine type Turbodiesel I-6, iron block/head
Bore x stroke, in 4.33 x 5.00
Displacement, ci/L 442/7.2
Compression ratio 16.5:1
Valve gear OHV, 3 valves/cyl
SAE horsepower, hp @ rpm 300 @ 2400
SAE torque, lb-ft @ rpm 800 @ 1440
Transmission type Allison MD-3066 6-speed auto
1st 3.49:1
2nd 1.66:1
3rd 1.41:1
4th 1.00:1
5th 0.75:1
6th 0.65:1
Reverse 5.03:1
Axle ratio 4.88:1
Recommended fuel Diesel #2
Wheelbase, in 194.0 (from factory)
Length, in 281.0
Width, in 97.0
Height, in 88.3
Headroom, f/r, in 41.5/41.0
Legroom, f/r, in 41.2/42.8
Shoulder room, f/r, in 68.0/66.9
Hip room, f/r, in 67.4/67.3
Ground clearance, in 10.0 (at front axle)
Base curb weight, lb 9000 (est)
Payload capacity, lb 30,000 (est)
GVWR, lb 25,999 (est)
GCWR, lb 70,000 (est)
Towing capacity, lb 18,500
Fuel capacity, gal 100.0 (dual 50-gal tanks)
Suspension, f/r Beam axle, leaf springs/live axle, air suspension
Steering type Power recirculating ball
Brakes, f/r Hydraulic disc/hydraulic disc, ABS
Wheels 22.5 x 8.5 Alcoa
Tires Goodyear 10R22.5
Acceleration, sec 0-60 21.3 1/4 mile, sec @ mph 21.9 @ 60.5
Braking, 60-0, ft 170
Fuel economy, city/hwy 9/12 (est)
Crew-cab model $82,000-$85,000 (est)
Six-door model (as tested) $115,000 (est)
Four-wheel-drive option $10,000 (est)



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